Home / World News / Local history officer Tim Cudini takes the helm of Eastern Goldfields Historical Society

Local history officer Tim Cudini takes the helm of Eastern Goldfields Historical Society

The Eastern Goldfields Historical Society has welcomed Tim Cudini as president following the departure of long-time leader and life member Scott Wilson, who spent 17 years in the role.

Mr Cudini had been involved with the society as a committee member for three years and vice-president for two years before being elected president on August 17 during the society’s annual general meeting.

Mr Cudini works as a heritage officer for the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and holds qualifications in museum studies.

Mr Cudini said while Mr Wilson’s departure as president had left “big shoes to fill”, he was excited about future developments for the society.

He said the historical society was an important asset for Goldfields residents and visitors to the region, helping to preserve and disseminate local history.

“People coming through (the Goldfields) love looking at all the old buildings and the historical society is often a point of contact to find out more information about things that they’ve seen,” he said.

“Quite often people coming through have had relatives here in the gold rush or afterwards so we provide great research facilities here.

“People that volunteer here bring their own knowledge that they’ve accumulated from being here over many years which is absolutely invaluable.”

Mr Cudini said he looked forward to fostering existing relationships and growing connections between the society and historical organisations in the Goldfields.

He said the society had formed a big part of his childhood, with his grandmother Tess Thomson a history author and life member of the society.

“One of my earliest memories was attending that planting of Paddy Hannan’s tree in 1993. We used to sit on her (Ms Thomson’s) knee and she would tell you all about Paddy Hannan and lots of historical stories,” he said.

The Eastern Goldfields Historical Society was formed in 1946 as a branch of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society and later became an independent organisation but retained it’s affiliation with the State body.

Mr Wilson joined the society in 1994 and served in numerous committee positions before taking the helm as president for 17 years, equalling the term of founding member George Spencer Compton.

Executive officer Rosie Stroud said the society thanked Mr Wilson for his time as president and looked forward to his continued involvement as a committee member.

She said Mr Wilson led the society from a “small group of enthusiasts to a fully functioning business” that employs an executive officer and is open five days per week.

“We are truly grateful for all the work Scott has done over the years he has been president,” she said.

“His knowledge and understanding of the history of the Golden Mile and the Eastern Goldfields as a whole is second to none.

“Scott has left big shoes to fill and we are grateful he has chosen to remain with us as a committee member.”

Former Eastern Goldfields Historical Society president Scott Wilson and newly elected president Tim Cudini.
Camera IconFormer Eastern Goldfields Historical Society president Scott Wilson and newly elected president Tim Cudini. Credit: Carwyn Monck/Kalgoorlie Miner

Mr Wilson told the Kalgoorlie Miner he was honoured to hold the position during his time as president and looked forward to the future of the society under Mr Cudini’s leadership.

“I’m very pleased and honoured to have been in that position for such a long time and it’s great to have been previously awarded life membership as well which really means a lot to me,” he said.

“Tim has a great passion for the history of the regions and particularly Goldfields military.

“He brings years of experience, courtesy of his role at the history and heritage unit at the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.”

Mr Wilson said the society played an important role in recording, protecting and promoting information on Goldfields’ history to the community.

“The Goldfields and Kalgoorlie-Boulder just oozes history, it’s in your face everywhere you turn, and it’s vitally important for our own identity that we keep up with history,” he said.

“The idea is to keep records and make sure that we all understand how we got here and the trials and tribulations of the past.”

Mr Wilson said interest in the society had grown in recent years and it now boasted 110 members and 36 volunteers.

He said the society hosted monthly meetings with guest speakers, social outings and film nights which kept members involved and provided an opportunity to collaborate on ideas and share findings with research projects.

The society also collaborates with clubs such as the Goldfields Naturalists’ Club and other historical societies in the Goldfields region.

Mr Wilson said advancements in modern technology during his involvement with the society had enabled the digitisation of archives for public access and collaboration with other organisations and historical societies across the State.

“In the past you had to rely on the curator or the librarian to know where things were with old catalogue systems but now we’re probably at the forefront of technologically savvy historical societies,” he said.

“We are really looking forward to now some longer-term improvements to storage capabilities like a climate control type environment.

“We have a lot of negatives, we’ve got over 60,000 images so as far — as a historical society goes, it would be one of the largest collections of photos outside of the Battye library (State Library of Western Australia).”

Mr Wilson recalled many changes to the society through the years such as moving the base from the old Fimiston Fire Station to the current home at the old Boulder Municipal Power Station.

He said the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder had been a prominent supporter of the society and provided a peppercorn lease for the building as well as help to create an executive officer position to enable further growth.

“The advent of the executive officer position relieved a lot of pressure on what were otherwise voluntary positions,” he said.

“It’s enabled the volunteers to become more engaged in projects and doing things for enjoyment sake rather than being locked into a (role).

“It’s been great and Rosie here is fantastic in allowing us to have a smooth professional operation.”

Mr Wilson said the society was working on a project to update and modernise signage at the former Kanowna town site to help share the history of the Goldfields ghost town.

He said heritage tourism was a big drawcard for visitors to the Goldfields and he believed Kanowna was often “undersold” as a tourism destination.

He said the Kanowna project would help put this history “back on the map” and bring this information into the 21st century with interactive online media and QR codes for visitors to access along with new information panels, booklets and fencing.

“We’re creating a whole tourism experience because people don’t realise that at one stage there was 12,000 people in Kanowna and the district,” he said.

“People often call it ‘Australia’s largest ghost town’ so it’s got a great story to tell.”

About brandsauthority

Check Also

Dutch prosecutors won’t appeal MH17 ruling

Dutch prosecutors say they will not file an appeal regarding the outcome in the trial …

%d bloggers like this: